Monday 24 October 2011

Chhote Nawab (1961)

Continuing the theme of maybe not so remarkable films but definitely a remarkable soundtrack is 1961's Chhote Nawab (Little Master) which as i understand gave Mehmood (one of my favourite comedians) his first leading role, but the great fact about Chhote Nawab is that it marked the  music directorial debut of the great Hindi film music director R.D. Burman. According to Mehmood (via wikipedia) he appointed R.D. Burman as the music director because he got tired of R.D. Burman constantly denting his car with his constant drumming.Great Choice Mehmood I say, as I'm in love with this soundtrack but first lets get into the plot

Our Story begins in Lucknow where Bade Nawab (?) is burdened by the upcoming birthday bash of his 5 going on 20 years old son (just as well, as he was born on a leap year) son Chhote Nawab (Mehmood)

He's advised by his personal Assistant Munshi-ji (S.N. Banerjee) to keep it a low key affair but Safdar (Kumar) his son in law reminds him of his reputation which results in the Nawab taking out a loan from Bhagwati Prasad (?) who's out to exploit him, Nawab places his house as a collateral (I think we know where this is going, bad mistake Nawab)

Days after Chhote Nawab's birthday celebration when he's unable to pay back his loan, Bade Nawab suffers a hear attack when Bhagwati comes to reclaim his property.It turns out the idea to get bade Nawab to place his house as a collateral was a plan between Bhagwati and Safdar to usurp Nawabs wealth. However, Bhagwati cheats Safdar out of his share and ends up usurping Bade Nawab's property leaving Safdar penniless

Angry and frustrated at being conned by Bhagwati, Safdar starts mistreating everyone around  him including his wife (Minoo Mumtaz) and her brother Chhote Nawab. Unable to take Safdar's humiliating treatments any more Chhote Nawab escapes to Mumbai.

He's found roaming the streets of Mumbai by family friend Nawab Nazir (Nasir Hussain)  who takes him home and offers his daughter Roshan (Ameeta) as his fiancee

Chhote Nawab comes across as uncouth and after a humiliating episode Chhote Nawab subjects her to, Ameeta alongside Kanchan (Johnny walker) starts educating Chhote Nawab and transforms him from a bumpkin to a city Slicker

Alas all her hard work soon starts causing jealousy when Sophie (Helen) a night club dancer starts flirting with him

Chhote Nawab starts acting erratically and turns cold towards Roshan and her family, forgetting how they  had helped him when he was down and out (see what the beauty of Helen can cause)

If all this wasn't enough he gets in with the bad crowd when he becomes friends with Bihari (Anwar Hussain) a gambler whose company causes him to start visiting Kotha's (brothels) as well as become a raging alcoholic
The lovely Sheila Vaz

Will Nawab ever come back to his senses or will it be too late to save him from his debauched lifestyle? Watch Chhote Nawab to find out

While not being up there with my favourites, I enjoyed watching Chhote Nawab, the first half moves along rather smoothly and was very enjoyable mostly due to Mehmood's child like antics plus the general drama, but then the second half which follows his journey from Lucknow to Mumbai and which sees him transformed from country bumpkin to city slicker becomes all preachy and moralistic in that cliched modern versus traditional life manner but alas Chhhote Nawab had matured and they had to pad out the story, still though this is na enjoyable film and I'd recomend it for mehmood fans and for R.D. Burmans

Performance wise Mehmood is the scene stealer in this film which I've heard he self produced, I'd describe him as delightfully loud and annoying yet oh so lovable, his childlike mannerisms and body language are simply unmatchable see the scene below for example, I love Mehmood I really do

And Ameeta is love interest was oh so beautiful though a bit too camera conscious as I noticed numerous sceens where kept glancing directly at the camera

 And Helen what a beauty, i loved her look in this film

Great Soundtrack from R.D. Burman, the songs on this blew me away and I couldn't help but appreciate R.D.'s talent ever more so, the songs on here are pretty remarkable for a debut. Favourites include the playful kiddie song 'aam chum tam chuum', the sweet and uplifting 'aaj hua dil matwala' and two super mujra's in the form of 'Ghar aaja ghir' with the lovely Sheila Vaz and 'chura ke dil' can anyone Id the lady in the clip (see her below)
can anyone id her?
two favourites I've chosen to embed are 'matwali ankhonwale' with Mehmood and Helen in full flamenco mode (I love this picturisation so much)

and the fun 'jeenewale muskura ke jee'  I love this composure so much and Mehmood's child like giggles added to the song makes it ever so delightful

Paisa Vasool Rating: 6/10

Choti Choti Si Baat #1

Choti Choti Si Baat (Litte Little Things) is a feature I hope to update weekly (see the previous edition here, and no more promises as I'm usually unable to fulfill them) with little snippets on favourite songs, upcoming movies etc. current obsessions and other bollywood related tidbits

Song of the week: Touch my body from 'Tell Me Oh Khuda' I've long been a Esha deol fan and I have in fact reviewed a few of her films on here. 'Tell me oh Khuda' is being touted as a come back vehicle of sorts for her and I can't help but wish Esha all the best and I hope this puts some much needed spice in her career. I've been playing this lovely number from the film over and over,  the sultry Hinglish vocals over 90's European trance/house beats won me over, I love it and I've been singing it all week

Guilty Pleasure of the week: 'Shake it Saiyaan' from Rascals My first reaction when i saw this video was what the Hell? but it has grown on me and I love it so much, even though I feel i shouldn't but alas how i can resist a hindi r'n'b/hip hop song with vocals from none other than the superb Sunidhi Chauhan, plus this video is a great lesson in cultural appropriation, I love seeing the Hip Hop style video adapted to a bollywood format

Youtube Discovery of the week: I find great pleasure in discovering non Indians singing bollywood songs word for word despite not having a grasp of the hindi language, such is the case with this man right here who gives a rather great rendition of 'Goro Ki Na kalon ki' (how very appropriate hai na!) from Disco Dancer. Please A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Pritam or Vishal-Shekhar track him down and let him start singing in hindi films

Retro Clip of the Week: Koi Patthar Se from Laila Majnu I remember seeing Laila Majnu in my early days as a bollywood deewana but I really couldn't appreciate it or should I say I found it boring, anyway this beautiful song rendered by Lata is tempting me to revisit the film

Upcoming Posts: Over on this blog I hope to continue my theme of films relevant because of their soundtrack (that's not to dismiss some of the said films themselves) I also hope to pay homage to Rekha whose birthday was a few weeks ago by reviewing a movie of hers on here. And over on my other blog Bollywood Movie Fashion I shall be taking a closer look into Nanda's amazing wardrobe in Jab Jab Phool Khile
Nanda in Jab Jab Phool Khile

Movie Release of the week: R.A. One Finally its here we've seen the promos, heard the songs and despite my irritation on the rather aggressive promotions I really can't wait to see this film, even if it turns out to be a bore I reckon I'll have fun watching it as I'm going with a  dear friend who loves Shahrukh immensely